The entrance exams for various courses in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have started despite a high number of Covid-19 cases. The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University – Hyderabad (JNTU-H) has been conducting the TS-EAMCET 2020 for ‘engineering’ candidates from Thursday.

Over two lakh candidates, including 1.42 lakh from the engineering stream, have applied for the Telangana State Engineering, Agriculture & Medical (Pharmacy, Veterinary) Common Entrance Test. All Covid-19 protocols, including social distancing, have been followed. The candidates have been asked to bring a signed self-declaration stating that they are not Covidpositive or not identified as a potential carrier of the virus. They have also been asked to bring along with them face masks, gloves, a 50 ml personal hand sanitiser bottle and a transparent water bottle.

 TS EAMCET convenor Govardhan Reddy said, “Thermal screening is a must. If any candidate shows coronavirus symptoms, he or she will not be allowed to write the exam. “

Dr. Prabhu Kumar Challagali, who has been dealing with Covid-19 cases told The Daily Guardian, “The government should take proper precautions or the exam centres will turn out to be dangerous. Instead of making the students sit and write exams, the governments should find alternatives. Who knows who has Coronavirus who does not have it. Unofficially, crores of people might be infected with Covid-19. If the governments do not take proper steps, the exam centers will turn out to be super spreaders of Covid-19.”

On the other hand, on an average there are more than 10 thousand Covid-19 cases reported every day in Andhra Pradesh. It is the second-highest affected state in India, next to Maharashtra, But the government is committed to conducting the entrance exams.

The Education Department in Andhra Pradesh has announced the dates of eight common entrance tests (CETs) for admissions to various courses, starting from Thursday to 5th October.

“The entrance tests are scheduled to be held from 10 September, starting with Andhra Pradesh Integrated Common Entrance Test (AP ICET), which will be held in four sessions on September 10 and 11,” Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh said.

As many as 2.7 lakh students have applied for EAMCET in Andhra Pradesh, with a majority sitting in the exam for admissions to various branches of engineering courses, followed by medical and agricultural courses.